Summer is a great time to get your family to try exciting new salad ideas with a wide range of nutrients but also experimenting with new flavour combinations. I struggled to get my children to eat salad, but when adding colourful bits like cherry tomatoes alongside delicious dressing it would instantly make it more appetising to kids. I still have bottles of the dressing in the pasta salad recipe in the fridge as my children love it! Also, make fruit more exciting by threading chunks onto straws or making delicious ice-lollies. You can use any fruit to do this, get your kids to decide on flavour combinations and make them up themselves.
Serve in buns together with some salad and ketchup.
• 3 slices of white bread
• 1 tbsp sunflower oil
• 1 large red onion, finely chopped
• 1 clove garlic, crushed
• 250g minced chicken
• 1 tbsp dark soy sauce
• 2 tbsp tomato chutney
• 50g dessert apple grated
• Sunflower oil for frying
Put the bread into a food processor and whiz to make fine crumbs.
Heat the oil in a saucepan and sauté the onion and garlic until soft.
Tip into a bowl with two thirds of the breadcrumbs and the remaining ingredients and season.
Using your hands, shape into 8 burgers and coat in the remaining breadcrumbs.
Heat the oil and fry the burgers for 3 to 4 minutes each side.
MAKES 8 | PREP TIME 15 MINUTES | COOK TIME 8 MINUTES | SUITABLE FOR FREEZING
SUMMER PASTA SALAD
The secret of this salad’s success is its delicious dressing which all children seem to love. I make up a big bottle and keep it in the fridge as my three children put it on everything from chicken to rice and also use it as a dip for raw vegetables. This picnic salad makes a delicious summer lunch and can be served either warm or cold.
• 150g pasta shapes
• 1 carrot
• 75g fine French beans
• 6 small cherry tomatoes
• 100g sweetcorn
• 1 small cooked chicken breast
• ½ small onion Peeled and finely chopped
• 4 tbsp vegetable oil
• 1 tbsp rice wine vinegar
• 1 tbsp soy sauce
• 1 tbsp chopped celery
• ¼ tbsp finely chopped root ginger
• 1 tbsp water
• 1½ tsp tomato purée
• 1½ tsp caster sugar
• 1½ tsp lemon juice
• Salt and freshly ground black pepper
To make the dressing, combine all the ingredients in a food processor and blend them until they are smooth.
Bring a saucepan of lightly salted water to the boil and cook the pasta according to the packet instructions.
Meanwhile, prepare the vegetables. Peel and cut the carrot into think strips; top and tail the French beans, and chop the cherry tomatoes in half. If you are using frozen sweetcorn, cook it either in a saucepan of boiling water or in the microwave. Dice the chicken breast.
Put the carrot and French beans in a steamer for about 5 minutes or until tender but still crisp. Drain the pasta and mix it together with the vegetables and diced chicken. Toss with 100ml of the salad dressing.
SPINACH SALAD WITH MANGO AND STRAWBERRIES
This is a lovely combination of flavours, which is easy to prepare.
• 2 tbsp pine nuts
• 2 tbsp dried cranberries
• 75g baby spinach leaves
• 25g peeled and diced red onion
• 1 small or 1/2 large ripe mango, peeled and chopped
• 5 strawberries, hulled and sliced
• 3 tbsp vegetable oil
• 1 tbsp balsamic vinegar
• 1 tsp caster sugar
• salt and freshly ground black pepper
Heat a dry frying pan and toast the pine nuts, continuously stirring for about 2 minutes or until golden.
Meanwhile, combine all the ingredients for the salad in a bowl.
Make the dressing by whisking together the oil, vinegar, sugar and seasoning. Then toss the salad with the dressing and sprinkle the pine nuts over the top.
MAKES 2 PORTIONS
LUSCIOUS LYCHEE FROZEN YOGHURT
I adore frozen yoghurt and it is a little less rich than ordinary ice cream. Lychee is one of my favourite flavours and is very refreshing. It’s worth investing in an ice cream making machine as you once you have tasted this you will want to make it again and again.
• 500ml full fat natural yoghurt (1 X 500g pot)
• 150ml single cream
• 75g caster sugar
• 1 X 425g tin lychees
Mix together the yoghurt, cream and sugar.
Blend the lychees together with 200ml of the juice from the tin.
Freeze and churn the mixture in an ice cream maker.
If you don’t have an ice-cream maker, pour the mixture into a shallow container, place in the freezer for 1 hour, then transfer to a food processor and whiz until smooth. Freeze for 2 hours, then process again before freezing until firm.
SUITABLE FOR FREEZING | MAKES 6 PORTIONS
SUPER SUMMER BERRY YOGHURT ICE CREAM
You can also make frozen yoghurt using frozen fruits.
• 200g mixed frozen summer fruits eg: strawberries, raspberries, blackberries, blueberries, cherries, redcurrants
• 200ml double cream
• 400ml mild natural yoghurt (eg Onken set yoghurt)
• 75g caster sugar plus an extra tablespoon
Put the frozen berries in a small saucepan together with one tablespoon of the caster sugar and cook over a gentle heat for a few minutes until soft. Puree the fruit and press through a sieve to get rid of the seeds.
Whip the cream until it forms soft peaks. Mix together the cream, yoghurt, sugar and sieved fruit puree. Freeze in an ice-cream making machine.
Alternatively, spoon into a suitable container and put in the freezer. When half frozen beat well until smooth either with a hand-held electric whisk or a food processor, to break down the ice-crystals that form.
Return to the freezer and stir one or two more times during the freezing process to get a smooth ice cream.
30 MINUTES PREPARATION | SUITABLE FOR FREEZING